Butterflies

On my way to check my wildlife cameras in the Rincon Mountains near Tucson I came upon these butterflies. Does anyone know what plant this is?

Butterfly. Copyright: Greg Joder
Queen Butterfly. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Pipevine Swallowtail. Copyright: Greg Joder.

Total Solar Eclipse

On a whim I met my brothers in Wyoming at Glendo State Park for the 2017 total solar eclipse. Our camp was within 500 meters of the center line of totality. Since I made the trip without much planning, I had only a video camera, DSLR with 400mm lens and no appropriate filters for looking directly at the sun. Because of this we were only able to capture images once the moon completely blocked the sun.

Total solar eclipse. Copyright: D. Joder

As the sky rapidly darkened, the white pelicans flew back to the lake to roost and the nighthawks began flying, looking for bugs. The air also changed, growing colder. The scene at totality was surreal. I felt as if I were in a sci-fi movie. When I looked at the sun I saw a dark black circle surrounded by expanding plasma jets. We could see stars and planets!

Hummingbird Nest Update

The little hummingbird continues to incubate her two eggs.  Based on information I’ve read the incubation period is nearing its end and soon her offspring will hatch.  In the meantime, she patiently sits and waits for her kids to crack open their eggs and begin begging for food.

Broad-billed Hummingbird on Nest. Copyright: Greg Joder.

Monsoon Flooding

There have been a number of days here in Tucson when the monsoon rains have caused a lot of flooding. Today I checked two of my trail cameras and found that one of them captured two flooding events. The following clips are chronological and if you keep an eye on the rock in the upper right you’ll see how high the flooding range is. The water level rises and falls greater than 6 feet between each heavy rain event and in a short period of time:

Sphinx Moth Caterpillars

This spring I planted several Sacred Datura plants hoping to attract Sphinx moths.  The trick worked and now there are a dozen or so Sphinx moth caterpillars pretty much defoliating one of the Datura plants.

Sphinx moth caterpillar on Datura. Copyright: Greg Joder.

Hummingbird Nest Update

The little female Broad-billed Hummingbird continues to incubate her two eggs. She also performs a lot of nest maintenance each day, adding more material or adjusting what she already has.  In order to capture still images of her I set up my DSLR on a tripod with telephoto and on time-lapse, shooting one photo every minute.  Here are three of the best captures:

It’s hot out! Copyright: Greg Joder.
Nest material. Copyright: Greg Joder
Hunkered down. Copyright: Greg Joder.